Monday, May 7, 2012

stitching away....

I'm still stitching, however, what I'm not doing is keeping the this site up to date.

I can't believe that the last time I posted on the MMS was in August - and here it is May of the next year!

In October I finished the quilt seen above - unlike most quilts I make this one I kept.  We needed a new living room lap quilt to replace the one I made twenty years ago.   With almost daily use by people (and species) of all ages,  and countless washings, the previous living room quilt has seen better days.

The new living room quilt is a simple design - the pattern is adapted from Kim Schaefer's book Cozy Modern Quilts

A few years ago Windham Fabrics created a line of solids that were inspired by the quilts of Gee's Bend - this quilt is made using these fabrics.  Unfortunately I think the line of fabrics is discontinued - which as every quilter knows is very common. I'd love to get my hands on more of the solids from this line.

As to the particulars the quilt measures approximately 60" X 64" is machine stitched and a field of stars of varying sizes are hand quilted over the entire quilt.   As with the fabric the batting is 100% cotton.

In late April a nephew married as a present I made him and his new bride a  wall-hanging to commemorate the occasion.  As is my norm with these wedding wall hangings the colors for the intersecting rings reflect the couple's favorite colors.

The saying and names are stitched in a contrasting yellow cotton thread - the other hand-stitching on the quilt is done in black thread - this photo was taken before I rubbed out the chalk marks; if you look  closely you can see the stitch design in the black inner area of the quilt.

I think these are the only two projects I've completed between late August and now - however, I have been busy. I have a large memory/healing quilt project underway - more on that for another post. I am also wrapping up a  quick simple quilt for baby due in June for a friend who is due. I just received a commission for another baby quilt - for a little boy born last year. My client gave the little boy's sister a magical mouse quilt as a gift when she was born and turns out my client learned that the baby's mom said she would like the new child to have a magical mouse quilt. I love when my quilts become part of a family tradition!

Friday, August 26, 2011

daphne's garden

Baby Daphne's welcome to the world quilt is finally finished and delivered! The quilt was started before Daphne was born in April, and her mama and papa took the 'we want to be surprised' path when it came to if they wanted to know ahead of time the sex of the baby. This then led me down the path of selecting gender neutral fabrics which are bright and bold.

Once again I chose the adapted log cabin block and the main fabrics have garden themed prints.

It was a very bright sunny day when I hauled the quilt outside for the mandatory photos - so it may be difficult to see the detail of the fabrics.

The center fabric on the quilt back is a print which features leaves and ladybugs (to the left is Ms T holding her baby brother Bingo)

Thanks to Daphne's mama for the above photo of sweet, beautiful Daphne in her quilted garden.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

flight of fancy

This quilt is the adaptation of the log cabin block which is found in the book Quilt Inspirations from Africa by Kaye England and Mary Elizabeth Johnson. I love this block, over the years it has become one of my favorite blocks to use for baby and lap quilts. I just love its versatility.

This quilt was commissioned as a welcome to the world gift for a baby born into a family who loves to travel and loves all things Mexican! I named the quilt Folklorica Flight of Fancy - which is an homage to the parents interests and also plays on the baby's name - Phineas. When I learned the baby's name is Phineas, my mind immediately thought of Phineas Fogg, the main character in Jules Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty Days - another person fond of travel!

Along with the baby's full name and birthdate, there is a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote stitched on the outermost border.

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

Since the front border is a busy print fabric, I stitched the words on the solid fabric on the back's border - this increases the reversible nature of the quilt. I can't believe this is the first quilt where I thought of doing this!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

tom's quilt

I can't believe how long it has been since I posted anything over here! My absence is misleading as I been quilting - but yes, I guess it has taken me a long time to finish anything.

A few weeks ago I finally finished a quilt that I had underway since last fall - it is a memory quilt in honor of a man named Tom. I have made a few memory quilts - which I think of as healing quilts - using the clothes of the person who has passed away.

I never had the honor or privilege of knowing Tom - but after corresponding with people who loved him, not to mention spending so much time with the clothes he wore, I feel as though I came to know him. He was a man I would have enjoyed knowing and a person I would have liked to have as a friend.

I am very proud of this quilt as it presented a couple new challenges which I think I was able to meet. When one takes on the task of making a quilt out of clothes, one never knows what type of clothes one will receive. Tom was a man who had many interests in life - one of his interests was motorcycles - but not just any motorcycles, but Harleys. The box of clothes I received consisted of many, many Harley-Davidson t-shirts and several other work and dress shirts in addition to work pants and jackets. The the latter, pants and jackets, I did not use - I asked my client if she or her sister wanted the clothes back - they didn't and so these clothes were donated to charity.

I filtered and sorted though the t-shirts and chose shirts that were in the best shape and had designs that weren't too redundant and would work well together - and represented the regions that Tom traveled to. I used all of the non t-shirt shirts and tied the patterns and blocks together with plain taupe cotton fabric. I asked which color/colors would go with Tom's widow's home - and the answer was neutral colors, specifically taupe.

The quilt is large enough to fit a double bed - and consists of a variety of traditional blocks - the most prevalent block is the flying geese pattern which symbolizes both Tom's love of traveling about on his bike and his recent flight to 'go home to God."

After I sent Tom's quilt to his widow - I heard back from his widow's sister, who commissioned the piece. The quilt was well received and in an email I received was the following, which really touched my heart:
We sat with it on my kitchen table tonight just admiring it. I know it must have been hard to work with the fabrics given but the patterns and fabric pieces you artfully chose for it actually fit Tom spot on. He would have loved it as well.

The statement that makes my heart sing is that the quilt fits Tom spot on and that he too would have loved it.... as his clothes once held his body, it is my hope that perhaps the quilt will holda bit of Tom's spirit and that the quilt will grace the life of those who loved him most and bring a bit of comfort as well....

Among the words stitched along parts of the quilt is the following stanza from a Robert Frost poem that Tom's widow selected as characteristic of the man she loved:

There never was any heart truly great and generous, that was not also tender and compassionate.

Like I said I would have enjoyed knowing Tom and to have had the honor of calling him my friend - in a way, I guess I do know him.......

Thursday, January 27, 2011

owl's trip around the world

Last week I finished another baby quilt - I call it Owl's Trip Around the World - named of course for the pattern is the ever-popular, quick piecing "Trip Around the World." Some of the fabrics will look familiar as some are similar/the same as fabrics I used in the last quilt that I posted.

This quilt is for a baby who is on his way into the world TODAY - I just received a text from his future auntie, saying his mom is in labor! Safe passage little boy!

The baby who will be receiving this quilt is the cousin of Laurence who was born in December and received the Treetop Lullaby quilt.

In my tradition of quilting songs or rhyme on the border, the rhyme of Owl's Trip is:

A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he saw
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird

The quilt measures 55 inches by 55 inches - a generous size for a baby quilt. As usual all of the materials are 100% cotton with the exception of the thread which is a cotton/poly blend.

Tsuki, one of the cats at casa mouse, really favored this quilt and was often found snuggled on the quilt during construction . The second photo shows this and gives a peek into the fabrics used on the back - the family has a dog so here's is a wee nod to the new baby's "canine sibling"!

If you are interested in commissioning a quilt to celebrate the birth of a child in your village, or perhaps a quilt for another occasion, contact the quiltmaker at the address found on the sidebar.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

treetop lullaby

Oh my, it has been over 3 months since I posted anything here on the studio blog. True, I've been off my game in terms of quilting this fall - the full circle of life seems to have slowed down my productivity when it comes to working in the studio.

But it is also the circle of life that has been guiding and directing the work in the studio this fall and winter.

At top is a quilt I recently finished to celebrate the birth of a most anticipated addition to my village - little Laurence came into the world just in time for Christmas. I finished Laurence's quilt the very day before he was born - I wonder if he was waiting for me to finish before coming into the world, we probably will never know.

I've named the quilt treetop lullaby reflecting the animals and trees of the main fabric. Around the outer border I stitched the following - a bit of a twist on the traditional stanzas of hush a bye baby:

Hush a bye baby
In the tree top,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock
If the bough breaks the cradle won't fall
As I'll catch cradle baby and all

The treetop lullaby is a variation of the traditional pinwheel quilt block, the quilt is machine pieced and hand quilted.

In October I finished and delivered a commissioned wedding quilt for a couple who were married in September.

Visitors to the magical mouse will recognize the quilt pattern - this is a standard for a small wedding gifts. The wallhanging is made up of log cabin blocksand the colors of the log cabin rings reflect the favorite colors of the bride and groom - in this case yellow and gray.

Continuing with the circle of life, the other project currently underway is a memorial quilt. Unfortunately my progress on this quilt is much slower than I had hoped - my new self-imposed deadline is to have the quilt finished and delivered by mid January and no later than the end of January!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

a garden of hugs and kisses

I set this photo up about a month ago but didn't get any farther - obviously a sign of just how crazy my summer has been.

As typical for the summer, work in the studio has been slow - I really don't get much quilting done when the summer is warm and when there's so much other stuff to do. That's not to say, I don't fantasize a great deal and make lots of plans - now summer time is great for that! Of course, whether my plans pan out is another thing, but you get the drift.

I finished this quilt in early august. I made it as a 'welcome to the world' gift for friends who were blessed with a dughter in late June. This easy peasy pattern has become one of my faves for baby quilts, I find it lends itself to a great deal of color play! I like to add borders of small squares to some of the quilts I make; this time I had the idea to put "X" and "O" in each square so the main quilt is symbolically surrounded with a garden of hugs and kisses. I stitched the outside border with some of the lyrics from "the garden song" - I like to imagine that ella's mama and papa will sing the garden song to her while she's getting ready to go to bed!